How from a banker I became a coach and why. What are the lessons that I have learned?
Hi, I am Ivet Pavlova, a coach and trainer, a problem solver by heart, and a vocation. I decided to share my personal story because it’s time for me to start sharing my rich experience with more people through articles and events in the next weeks and months. Many times colleagues coaches, friends, and clients said to me “you inspired me”. I hope that I will inspire more people to achieve the longings of their hearts. For me, this journey does not have an end. It is a process that is very often sabotaged by different challenges. I believe that even in the worst times there is a solution and it is hidden inside us. What we need is courage, faith, and dedication, to make a decision and to allow ourselves to seek help when we need it. This makes us humans.
When I graduated from the University with a major in Finance in 1995, I was dreaming to be an investment analyst in the lending department of a bank. It was super interesting for me to learn more about different businesses and to participate in the business development in Bulgaria after the communist regime in our country had collapsed (we needed to develop private businesses from scratch). But the Universe (or my soul as a small universe) had other plans for me about what I can give to the business in Bulgaria and in the world that I was not able to imagine at this young age. But during my whole professional life up to now, more than 25 years, it pushes me to develop many knowledge and experience, and a very strong intuition together with them. And in a particular moment in my life, the inner urge to study coaching and NLP was so strong that it was impossible not to follow it. And no matter what hardship I had to go through during my entrepreneurship journey and my development as a coach, every time I got to the right place at the right time to gain particular knowledge and experience, which together with my whole bank experience made my coaching session with my clients exclusively powerful and effective. This was a journey with many lessons about how a successful business is done, how we as people to be more successful, where are the “underwater rocks” and how we can overcome them. Part of the lessons that I learned, I share with you in this article.
The overall lesson that I can extract from my 25 years of professional journey (or let’s start from behind with lesson No 9) is that there is always a way to fulfill what we dream about. We just need to free ourselves from fears and worries, believe in our intuition, and follow the inner calling of our hearts. Then we will find our mission or the biggest plan of our souls. And the age does not matter at all.
Before I share with you why I became a coach, let me first share with you some of my experience in business and finance.
So, after I graduated the University, instead of fulfilling my dream, the Universe sent me to study first what is liquidity and how it is managed. And I found myself in Unionbank. Two years later my searching spirit took me to Ernst &Young as an auditor for the banking sector where I got a whole picture of the bank activity. After I understood that the external audit was not for me, I came back into the banking system as an internal auditor at Postbank, which was privatized recently. I had already a broad view of the banking system and very useful knowledge that was appreciated in the bank. The position of internal auditor was very precious for me in my banking career. I was in a team chosen to introduce new things to the internal audit profession and besides the usual detailed reviews that we were supposed to do, we executed audit reviews of the processes and functions. I learned how exactly such a large financial organization functions, where are the risks, and how they are minimized. Three years later I had the pleasure to be chosen as a chief expert in the project for reorganization, expansion, and rebranding of the same bank where I gained huge practical knowledge about how a business is reorganized and enlarged, and the challenges that accompany this process. And when this project finished, I fulfilled my dream from the university period and I became an investment analyst in the lending department for small, medium, and large businesses at Bulgarian American Credit Bank. As an auditor, I investigated lending activities. In the new position, I got practical knowledge about the process of investment analysis and how decisions were taken for investing in a business project. Actually, I learned about the banking system, banking business, and how it interacted with other businesses in such details, and as I had participated in its development in so many ways, I can freely say that I was a banker, not just a bank employee.
Lesson 1: What I learned in my banking period is that for the success of each business project more important than having a good idea are the personality of the leaders, their leadership skills, and the environment in the company. And the environment is created by the leader. And his mood and style have a direct impact on the people in their team as well as their effectiveness, hence on the financial results of the business project. (That’s why later, I combined business and leadership coaching together in my programs)
Lesson 2: I learned that the work-life balance is very important for the employees and for the business owners as well, because if they don’t pay attention to their health and self-care on time, if they suffer from chronic fatigue, the consequences can be very negative for the people, hence for the business itself.
Change of the direction
After my son was born in 2009 my soul began to seek something else. I started to read books about children’s psychology and how to communicate with children. I found answers to my questions that had arisen during my banking career about: why some people are so successful others are not, why some leaders are so toxic while others are inspiring, why people ignore themselves so often, and what are the barriers in the communication between people, etc.
Lesson 3: I found that the way people communicate has a huge role in creating the environment in which people could blossom. (And later, besides coaching my other passion become helping people improve their communication style. And that’s why some years ago based on my whole experience I developed very interesting trainings “Communication with ease and with joy” and “Empathic conversations”.)
During my maternity, I had problems with my weight and I decided to learn more about nutrition and sport. I have always practiced different sports and was paying attention to what I eat, but in this period I went deeper into these topics. I became a wellness consultant and I got certification as a consultant in fitness nutrition and instructor in aerobics, step aerobics, and Pilates. This was the way I entered entrepreneurship and I created my own studio. The studio existed for only one year, but I developed the idea into a larger project in the next years.
Lesson 4: I learned how important are healthy nutrition, sport, and self-care not only for being healthy but for being happier and more successful. (That’s why in all my business and leadership coaching programs we also work for improving the wellness level of my clients together with their business growth.)
Lesson 5: When we are entrepreneurs it is very important to believe in our idea. And even if it is not so profitable in the first years, instead of giving up, remain flexible and find other ways to do it. The first idea is not always the best one. But we can develop it. It is important to allow yourself to leave up the old ideas that do not work well and develop new ones. And to have fun in the process. To enjoy it.
How I became a coach and why
When I found out how much I had changed for the better, I understood that what I wanted was to help people be more successful, happier, and more fulfilled. The next question was how to provide transformation with fast and lasting results. Wondering what I have to study in order to be able to do what I want, the coaching and NLP found me and I just followed them. I decided to study in the USA and in 2014 I graduated from the Academy of leadership Coaching and NLP in San Francisco. Currently, during the year 2022, I have the honor to be chosen as an associated coach in the same Academy with a mentorship role for the new coaches. For me, it is an honor and pleasure. During the last 8 years, I studied a lot in the area of business development, entrepreneurship, leadership, emotional intelligence, wellness, and others. Each of these things has passed through me before I work on these topics with clients. And I passed through a huge transformation and growth together with my clients. I integrated different methodologies in my work as a coach, which together with my personal and professional experience, make my coaching sessions exclusively powerful for my clients.
Lesson 6: We are one and the same person with many roles in life. When we develop our personalities it affects each of our roles. In order to be successful, we need to grow internally to the level at which we want to develop our business or career. This is a process of inner work. Sometimes we can do it alone. Other times we need help from outside. It is important to allow ourselves to do it.
Lesson 7: All answers are hidden inside us. It is just difficult for us to find them while we hurry in our daily life because of the fog that human emotions create inside us. In such moments it is good if we have a trustworthy person to support us and help us reconnect with ourselves and our own wisdom. The most efficiently it happens with the proper coach for us. I have a coach as well. I had many coaching during my journey.
During this journey step by step, I found my mission in life and it is partnering with Business Leaders, New Entrepreneurs, Start-Up & Scale-Up Founders, and people in their teams to emerge from difficult situations and elevate their business and life with love and empathy, creating a positive environment where people blossom.
Based on my whole experience I have created a holistic approach to solving business challenges because I believe that business, leadership, and life balance are interdependent. We need to develop them together during the process of emerging from difficult situations and to keep our health, energy, inspiration, and fulfillment, in balance and at a high level, currently and in the long term. This is the way we can give our best to others.
Lesson 8: One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in my journey as an entrepreneur is that in the most difficult times for us, investing in ourselves is the best investment that a person can do. One kind of such investment is to get into a coaching partnership with a proper coach for ourselves.
If you want to find out whether I am the proper coach for you, connect with me for a free get-to-know me call.
I will be glad to answer all of your questions and support you if you need it.
Find more about my coaching programs here.
Thank you for your attention!
Best wishes from me to you!
NLP Somatic Coach and Trainer
Business, Leadership & Life Balance Coach & Trainer